By Ken Reed
An Oregon high school football player has filed a $38 million lawsuit against the local school district claiming it failed to properly handle a concussion injury he suffered during a football game.
Connor Martin was cleared to play while still experiencing concussion symptoms. In a following game, he was knocked unconscious and suffered severe symptoms, which worsened later that evening.
Martin’s mom found him at home “curled up in the fetal position on the couch, sobbing because of a severe headache,” according to the lawsuit. The suit also states that Martin would fall while attempting to walk and vomited throughout the night.
Today, Martin continues to struggle in his efforts at recovery. The lawsuit says he suffers from vision and balance problems, headaches, and light sensitivity. He hasn’t been able to return to school due to the brain injury.
As parents become more educated regarding the growing mound of brain trauma and concussion research, the number of these type of lawsuits will continue to rise. Football-related risk and liability will be hard to contain for school districts and their insurers. And, when risk and liability can’t be contained, insurance premium costs will shoot up, making the sponsoring of football cost prohibitive for middle schools and high schools.
In the coming years, as participation numbers continue to decline for middle school and high school football, and the number of brain trauma-related lawsuits starts to rise, the future of school-sponsored football programs will become bleaker and bleaker.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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